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UK and Tar Sands Oil

Today 50 Greenpeace UK activists blocked their Department for Transport with two immobilised cars parked in front of the entrances and a giant handshake. This is because the UK government is trying to scuttle legislation that will block tar sands oil from being sold at UK petrol pumps.

giant-handshake against tar sands oilNext week, officials will meet from across Europe to approve the plan that would prevent tar sands oil from ending up at the pumps. If the proposal goes ahead it would deal a major blow to oil industry plans to expand Canada’s tar sands open cast mining operations.

Right now the vote could go either way because of the UK-led diplomatic effort to scuttle it. So Greenpeace has a campaign that any UK person can participate in, to put pressure on the UK government to stop its attempts to scuttle the legislation.

The tar sands deposits of heavy oil mixed with clay and sand lie below the surface of the Canadian wilderness. To extract the tar, oil companies destroy the Canadian boreal forest, gouge out hundreds of metres of top soil, and turn the landscape into a gaping black pit. Two tonnes of earth has to be dug up and processed to produce each barrel of tar sands oil, Greenpeace UK writes.

Worst of all, tar sands oil creates three times the emissions per barrel that you would get from normal crude. There’s no way tar sands oil makes any sense for our environment or climate, Greenpeace concludes.

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Alison Wheatley

Alison Wheatley

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